Habits to Adopt — and Lose — this Hybrid School Year

Clara Sorkin, Staff Writer

A new year and a new semester are the perfect opportunity to reflect on your study habits, and maybe even take on some new ones that will help you succeed. Adjusting to a new schedule has been a challenge for just about everyone, so embrace these new study habits, let go of the toxic ones, and watch your stress melt away!


  1. DO: put your phone and other electronic devices in a different room while doing schoolwork and studying.

Snapchat notifications, friend requests on Instagram, and texts from your friends can wait. A buzz or ping from your phone is enough to keep you distracted for hours on end. In fact, a Florida State University study proves that receiving a notification is just as distracting as responding to a text message or a phone call.. If putting your device in a different room is too big of a commitment, try putting your phone on airplane mode, or just shutting it off completely. 


  1. DON’T: wait too long to start your schoolwork.

It can be tough to set aside all distractions and focus on a task as burdensome as homework. Especially as the winter days become shorter, and the sun sets earlier and earlier, it’s easy to lose track of time. Try setting a daily alarm on your device that tells you exactly when to get to work, but make sure to schedule time for breaks as well. Academic burnout can be just as stressful as schoolwork itself. 


  1. DO: routinely complete school-related tasks in a quiet and comfortable setting.

Just as a phone call or video can be distracting, so can other people. Distractions like your parents or guardian cooking dinner, your siblings watching TV, or anything else can make it difficult to think straight or focus. If possible, try to complete your homework in a private room with accommodations that will help you focus. If studying in your room will make you want to jump into bed and take a nap, or if taking notes in your kitchen will make your stomach growl, try to find somewhere that won’t divert your attention away from what needs to be done. Once you’ve found the perfect setting, try to make it a habit to complete your work in that space, as having a routine will provide some comfort and much-needed consistency in today’s fast-paced world. 


  1. DON’T: stay up too late cramming for an assignment or assessment. 

Just about everyone has done it before; right as you’re about to go to bed, you remember your big quiz or test the next day, and you realize that you haven’t even opened the textbook to study. These late nights are detrimental to your mental and physical health, and are doing more harm than good. A good way to stay on top of your schoolwork is to invest in a weekly planner, where you write down assignments and due dates for each class, and cross them off when you finish them, or make a simple to-do list on a piece of paper and check each item off the list once they are completed. If you’re behind on assignments, or not sure when your next test is, seeing all your tasks laid out puts your workload in perspective. Plus, it’s extremely satisfying to check off each assignment once you’ve finished it. 


With these new study tips fresh in your mind, you can start making positive changes in your school routine! Remember– everyone learns differently, and some study habits can benefit certain students, while adopting the same custom can be disadvantageous to others. Test out these habits and see which ones will put you on the path to success!